Namjoon lands on the bed with a flop, letting out a long sigh. The room is dark around him but he is too exhausted to move and turn on the lights, and so he lays there, enjoying the brief moment of peace and silence while it lasts.
He hears Jeongguk shifting on the bed next to his and turns to looks at him; he is buried beneath the covers, his bangs almost covering his eyes. Jeongguk mutters something too low for him to hear and rubs the sleep out of his eyes.
"I was waiting for you," he mumbles, his voice rough.
"I told you not to stay up for me."
"But I wanted to." Jeongguk watches him for a moment before he continues. "I don't know how you do it, hyung. How you handle it all."
Namjoon shrugs. The trust is, he doesn't really know to balance everything. He is just a good actor, enough to convince everyone around him that he is fine. That he is keeping it all together.
Sometimes he spends sleepless nights trying to figure out what their next song is going to be— wondering why he is so useless or why he claims to be a songwriter if he can't figure this out, or revising what he is going to say the next day in an event, or practising the dance moves for their next video with Hoseok and Jimin till every bone inside him aches.
(Namjoon is certain that the other two have already memorised the steps a long time ago, and they are just there to help him out. He tells that he is fine on his own repeatedly, but Hoseok states that they need to train as well while Jimin replays the song for the umpteenth time. Namjoon shuts up then, a little overwhelmed and more grateful than he can ever say.)
The next morning, Jin wakes up him gently, a smile on his lips. He hears Jeongguk groaning as Jimin pokes and prods him to get up. Yawning, he forces himself to get out of bed.
He gets in the shower and lets the warm water soothe the tension in his muscles. A couple of minutes later and he enters the kitchen, listening to a rather loud and enthusiastic Taehyung as he talks to Jeongguk about something he has watched last night. Hoseok groans and complains but his protests shortly die on his lips as he gives up. No one can ever shut up Tae when he is like this.
Jin watches them with an amused expression on his face as he makes breakfast, Jimin helping him. Yoongi is barely keeping his eyes open, yawning every couple of moments. His eyes connect with Namjoon's and he grins before going back to his usual grumpy morning self. Namjoon smiles back, remembering the song they worked on last night. It is finally done, and Namjoon thinks that it might be it this time, that he won't have to throw all his effort away because he ends up not liking it a week later.
Sometimes Namjoon can't pull it off. Sometimes he slips up and they catch him. As time passed, his group members have learnt to see through the cracks when no one else can. They became more than his friends. They became his second family, and sometimes the only thing keeping him together.
They are the ones he thinks about when things get a bit too much. When he is thinking of giving it all up because it is just not worth it. The fame and getting his songs out there are just not worth it when he can barely hold himself up. When he can barely breathe.
They are the ones he thinks of when he is laying in the bed at 3 AM, trying to will himself to sleep since they are supposed to be up early for one thing or another. They are the only things he holds on to when he has nothing left.